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How to Decide Who to Invite

Thursday, 30 August 2012 12:02
No matter the milestone in your life, it is important to celebrate surrounded by those you love. But many events are planned on a budget, and it may not be possible to invite everyone. Being choosy with invites is sometimes necessary and can be uncomfortable, especially when many people who cannot be invited already know the event is happening. Whether it be a birthday party, retirement party, or wedding, here are some tips to help you decide who to include on your guest list. Invite Who You WantThe event you are planning is after all your event, not that of… Read more...

Keep Kids Entertained While Grown Ups Play

Thursday, 02 August 2012 15:14
Summers' end parties are a great time to soak up the last warm and sunny days of the season. This time when you invite friends over to celebrate, forgo the need for a babysitter and keep kids occupied with fun outdoor games. It's a fun outing for the whole family! Batty Bowling. Find a number of silly or odd items that can be knocked over by a ball, such as a plastic milk carton, a candlestick, a stand-up doll, a plastic vase of flowers, a pizza box, a tower of empty cans, an umbrella stand, an empty oatmeal container, and… Read more...

Low-Cal Cocktails

Tuesday, 31 July 2012 10:10
What's more refreshing than a cocktail at the end of a hard week (or day…)? A cocktail that doesn't put you over on the daily calorie count. Relax the next time your girlfriends are over, and try some of these recipes that are 205 calories or less. Gin and Tonic 103 Calories One ounce gin Three ounces tonic  Mix ingredients, enjoy  Mojito 122 Calories One teaspoon sugar Half a lime Three sprigs mint One and a half ounces light rum Soda water Put the sugar in a highball glass (or any 8- to 12-ounce glass), squeeze in the juice of… Read more...

RSVP Etiquette: Reply to Invites with Style

Wednesday, 18 July 2012 11:26
The rules surrounding reply etiquette remain the same as they have always been. Having RSVP etiquette is a perfect opportunity to show that you are considerate and respectful of other people’s time and thoughts. The term "RSVP" on an invitation stands for a French phrase, "repondez s'il vous plait," meaning "respond if you please." It is a polite way of requesting a response to the invitation, not a suggestion to the invited guest to respond if she feels like it. Having RSVP etiquette means simply replying in the manner and timescale that your hostess has requested which then enables her… Read more...

Fireworks Safety

Tuesday, 03 July 2012 11:22
If fireworks displays are in your entertaining plans this week, make sure taking safety precautions is also present on the itinerary. Grand Rapids Fire Department Fire Inspector Ted Jensen says dry weather and fireworks can take a gathering from playful to dangerous in no time. Jensen says before property owners display fireworks, they should wet down the surrounding area, and keep the garden hose charged and ready to extinguish any fires that could occur, including grass fires or fires started due to fireworks landing on building roofs. Arial fireworks require seventy feet of clearance for each inch of the shell… Read more...

Cool Summer Recipes

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 14:44
Kitchens are already sizzling this week in the 90-degree weather, so keep dinner cool with these recipes that don't require the oven or grill. Appetizer: Guac 'n chips Ingredients:    •    Three avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed    •    One lime, juiced    •    One teaspoon salt    •    Half cup diced onion    •    Three tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro    •    Two roma (plum) tomatoes, diced    •    One teaspoon minced garlic    •    One pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)    •    One bag of El Matador Tortilla Chips Directions: In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes,… Read more...

Take Your Party to the Beach

Tuesday, 05 June 2012 11:52
In West Michigan, we know a thing to two about beaches, but do you have beach bag packing down to a science? Entertain your friends and family at the beach with these essential items: Sunscreen: Don't take risks when it comes to sun exposure. Make sure you have a high enough SPF and that your sun screen hasn't expired. Apply often. Lip Balm: Don't forget about your lips at the beach! Find a lip balm with SPF (but keep it in the shade as lip balm tends to melt). Shade: Whether you hunker down under the shade of a sand… Read more...

Get Grilling

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 10:42
This holiday weekend has hot temps in store, and we're guessing your grill will be sizzling too. What are you serving alongside your charbroiled perfection? Here are some menu suggestions: Veggie: Best Grilled AsparagusOne pound fresh asparagusOne tablespoon olive oil Switch your grill to high heat. While it's warming up, coat asparagus with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill asparagus for two to three minutes. (The same method can be used to grill corn on the cob). Starch: Twice Baked Red Potatoes Large red potatoes (one per guest at your backyard bbq)Olive oilHalf a cup… Read more...

DIY Antique Centerpieces

Sunday, 06 May 2012 11:22
Looking for a personal touch to your backyard barbeque? Try these do-it-yourself centerpieces that take seconds and leave plenty of time for you to enjoy the party yourself. You'll need mason jars, olive oil, and photographs.  Fill mason jars will olive oil. Insert photo.   Screw cover on mason jar.  It's that easy. Get creative and use photos of guests to your party with varying effects like color, black and white, sepia, or antique.  Source and photo: Claire Bear Read more...

Gift Wrapping Preparedness

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 14:46
Don't be caught on Christmas Eve or the afternoon before a birthday party with a shortage of gift-wrapping supplies. Keep a few things on hand year-round so you'll be ready when the last minute invites pop up in the mail. Your wrapping station should include: Solid colored paper in several shades. Purchase solid paper in bulk so you never run out. Light blue paper with snowmen is only good during snow-covered months. Light blue paper with a white bow could pass for a baby shower, beach-themed party, or something more wintery. Solid ribbon in several colors. Embellish your plain wrapping… Read more...